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Unread 16 Dec 18, 05:16 PM  
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orlandoamber
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COMPLETE - April/May 2018 Food Report

I have been reading many of these reports over the last few weeks in preparation for our 2019 trip which will be 7 days on the QSDP staying at CSR + 9 days at Cabana Bay. We are heading back to Cabana Bay after a fabulous two weeks there earlier this year and after looking through my photos, thought it may be useful (if not a little late!) to do a food report for our April/May 2018 trip. We are two adults. Hope you enjoy... 😊

Day 1 - Travel Day and IOA

On travel day we ate breakfast at the Wetherspoons in Birmingham airport and then boarded the plane. I have to say we didnt take photos of the plane food - it did the job though and we ate it.

We landed into Sanford and were at Cabana Bay by around 16.00. We decided to spend the first evening doing a few rides at IOA and went to Moes in CityWalk, one of our favourites from our 2016 trip, for a bite to eat.

We shared the nachos and of course had to get the plain chips with the queso too.



This was amazing as usual but we were shattered and after we ate we rode a couple of rides in IOA and went back to Cabana Bay for the evening. We also picked up one of the Cabana Bay refillable mugs for the length of our stay which I would highly recommend.

Edited at 12:19 AM.
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Unread 16 Dec 18, 05:32 PM  
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Day 2 - Magic Kingdom

It is tradition that on our first full day we go to MK. It is also tradition to get lunch at Caseys! We dont tend to do breakfast very often.

So our first meal of the day was two portions of corn dog nuggets with fries and fountain drinks. Prior to this we have always had the hot dogs here, but the corn dog nuggets had caught our attention on a few YouTube videos we watched before our trip this year. Very glad we chose to try them as they are delicious! It is a shame they are a low priced QS credit as although we were paying OOP this year, we are on the QSDP next year and I know I will begrudge using credits for lower priced meals (even though I know thats silly).



While exploring, we got one of these frozen Minute Maid lemonades. We had got the pink version in AK in 2016 and concluded that we still preferred the pink.



After getting around the majority of the park and using our FP+ choices, we managed to snag a 18.00 SDMT FP+ which we have never been able to get before (and had as a result never ridden before!). In hindsight this was a bit of a mistake as we werent bowled over by the ride and it stopped us getting FP+s for other rides while we waited for it, and by the time we came off it there were no FP+ available throughout the park. This was disappointing as in 2016 we had gone on Space Mountain about 15 times thanks to FP+! This was also our only day in MK as we only had two day Disney tickets to be used at MK and AK. Anyway, while we waited for SDMT we ate at Columbia Harbour House. We had eaten here in 2016 but both just got shrimp - this time we tried the platter of shrimp, nuggets and fish (I dont have a photo of this), and also a lobster roll with a side of mac n cheese. Both were nice but we werent crazy about the food like others seem to be.





After SDMT, we shared a Mickey chocolate and icing covered rice crispie treat. This was lovely and we will definitely use some snack credits on these next year.



That concluded our first full day! 😊

Edited at 05:37 PM.
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Unread 16 Dec 18, 06:01 PM  
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Day 3 - Volcano Bay

We couldnt wait to go to VB for the first time as the view from our room at Cabana Bay was of the volcano. The early entry you get from staying at a Universal hotel for VB is far better than using it at US/IOA and the Cabana Bay private entrance is amazing. This really drew us to book there again for next year.

After trying out a lot of the rides (and Krakatau a few times...!) we sat down for some lunch. We got a blue frozen slush, bbq chicken pizza and a shrimp mac n cheese. All of this was nice and we would have it again. Usually waterpark food isnt great so we were nicely surprised.









After a great day at VB, we chilled at Cabana Bay for a while before heading out to Red Lobster. This has always been a favourite of mine since my first trip when I was 8! I introduced the OH to this in 2016 and he loved it too, so we were both very excited to return. However, as in 2016 we stayed at the DoubleTree at Seaworld and this time were at Cabana Bay, it was easier to go to the Red Lobster closet to Universal rather than the same one as in 2016 (there is another very close to Seaworld). I would say we preferred the feel of the one by Seaworld better, but the food is the same in both.

We were given the biscuits to start as usual, which are more like warm cheesy bread parcels. They are lovely.



For drinks, the OH had a Corona and I ordered a Lobsterita which I thought was just going to be a strawberry daiquiri - until it arrived! It was literally the size of my head. 😂 Of course I finished it off though... (with a little help!).



For mains we had a couple of platters to share. The first was a seafood one with lots of prawns, a lobster tail and snow crab claws, while the second was steak with mash. Both were very nice. Highly recommend this place.





We then got an uber back to Cabana Bay and rested up ahead of Universal the next day!
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Unread 16 Dec 18, 06:38 PM  
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Day 4 - Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

We decided to try our early park admission on this day which for our whole stay was for Universal Studios rather than Islands of Adventure. It was useful and allowed us to ride the Minions ride which we hadnt done before because of the queues for it, but I think it would suit us better if it was in IOA for our stay as we prefer the rides there. VB early park admission was a lot more valuable to us.

Anyway, after making the most of the low crowds we stopped off for a Simpsons big pink donut for breakfast. We just love this... it is divine and really good value for what you get.



Afterwards, we hopped on the Hogwarts Express over to IOA and rode some of our favourite rides. We had heard rave reviews of Margaritaville in CityWalk and as we love nachos, we decided to head there for lunch. I know everyone says it (and obviously we didnt believe them as we also ordered another side!) but the volcano nachos here are MASSIVE. I think we have eaten nachos in at least 50 places around the world and these were by far the biggest we have ever seen. They were delicious but alongside the equally massive portion of onion rings, we were defeated!





We also had some really nice pink lemonade in here and loved the decor which you can sort of see in the below picture.



I am sure its not surprising when I say that this actually defeated us for the day and we couldnt fit anything else in! So after spending the afternoon in US/IOA, we headed back to Cabana Bay, filled our refill mug with a strawberry-kiwi slush (the best!) and went to bed.

Edited at 12:20 AM.
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Unread 16 Dec 18, 07:03 PM  
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Day 5 - Seaworld and Outlet Shopping

When we came in 2016 we ate at the Sharks Underwater Grill in Seaworld on a bit of a whim and loved the food and experience. This year we had therefore booked in advance and reserved a table - and today was that day!

We arrived to Seaworld pretty early using the free transport given to Universal hotel guests. The rides were not open for the first hour so we grabbed ourselves a really lovely cookie for breakfast while reactivating our refill mug from our last trip.



Once the rides opened, we headed straight for Manta to try to beat the queues. We were lucky that in 2016 we had free Seaworld quick queue as we were staying onsite, and remembered that this was always the ride we were so grateful of having the quick queue for - the queues can get big! We did quite well this time and were off it within about 20 minutes. Manta is a contender for my favourite ride in Orlando, I love it. We then headed to Mako which never seems to have a queue (probably because it is terrifying!) and walked on it about five times in a row!

It was soon time for our lunch reservation. We were seated near to the main tank which was great, and got tucked into the free bread to start.



I then ordered the tempura shrimp (which are huge!) and the OH had a steak. Both meals were lovely, as we remembered and different from standard theme park food.





We were too stuffed for dessert, so left and sauntered around the park a little more before calling it a day. We had planned to go to the Orlando International Premium Outlets on the evening.

At the Outlets we came across a Five Guys and couldnt resist - no pics of this as it was just the standard meal we would have in the UK; one burger and one hot dog. We did, however, spot some loaded fries at another venue across from Five Guys which I believe was called Charleys Philly Steaks. We got one portion of loaded cheese and bacon fries to go with our meal from here and ate it in the shared food court - they were lovely! The server also offered me a free sample of a philly steak which was nice too.



After a few purchases at the Outlets, it was time to call it a night ready for an early start at Discovery Cove the next day.
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Unread 16 Dec 18, 09:19 PM  
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Day 6 - Discovery Cove and Mall at Millenia

Our absolute favourite place 😍 and the food isnt too bad either. It is an all inclusive resort so food and drinks (including alcohol) are free. The food is buffet-style, so we started with a buffet breakfast (which included all of the usual items plus a choice of other things such as yogurt and muffins) and then went to find some sunbeds to be our base for the day.





We chose a lovely spot by the grand reef, but a word of advice. Their animal friendly suncream simply doesnt work very well ☹️ it is very thick and looks like it would do the job, but both of us got terribly burnt here just from 40 minutes of sunbathing.

Lunch again is a free buffet - so we tried a bit of everything! A bacon cheese burger, a pulled pork burger, mac n cheese and a caeser salad. We then got desserts of strawberries, melted chocolate and a vanilla and strawberry cheesecake.













This was a brilliant day as always. We dont usually do the dolphin swim and didnt this time; we could spend all day with the rays alone.

We left at around 17.00 and went to get changed at Cabana Bay before heading out to the Mall at Millenia. We remember finding a lot of stuff here in 2016 but everything seemed very expensive this year and we didnt buy anything!

Food option was the Cheesecake Factory which we hadnt tried before and were very excited for. I had heard that the mains were huge so opted for a starter of calamari for my main... this was the size of it:



The OH had a chicken burger which he said was one of the best hes ever had:



We then shared some mac n cheese balls (OH was a little obsessed with mac n cheese this holiday if you cant tell!):



Overall we loved the food here but there was SO much and I couldnt even finish my starter portion of calamari! Unfortunately we were too full to try a cheesecake, but that is on the list for 2019!

Edited at 09:23 PM.
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Unread 16 Dec 18, 09:55 PM  
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Day 7 - Universal/IOA/Citywalk/All Star Music check-in/Disney Springs

Wow, this was a busy day! About two weeks before our holiday Disney added EMH to the day we planned to rope drop Animal Kingdom for FOP so we decided to book a Disney value resort for one night (more on that later).

We begun the day with a quick trip around US/IOA and tried our first ever butter beer! We went for the frozen version and decided to share one as we had heard they were sickly - we were glad we decided to do this as it was lovely but I definitely dont think either of us could have drank any more!



We then decided on Toothsome in CityWalk for lunch. We shared some cheese steak spring rolls, truffle fries and a bbq chicken flat bread:







I am sad to say that we werent that impressed with this meal. I know lots of people love Toothsome and we had some chocolate from here later in the holiday which was lovely, but feel like that may be their strong point rather than the meals. There was nothing wrong with the meal at all, we just felt you could get a lot more (and nicer) for your money elsewhere.

On our way back to Cabana Bay to get ready to move over to the mouse for the night, we spotted a very small queue in Voodoo Doughnut (which is usually heaving!). I opted for Dirt which was AMAZING, but the OH ordered a Butterfinger which was a cake donut. At that moment we learnt that we like yeast donuts, and not cake donuts! That one unfortunately went in the bin and we dont have a photo of it. This was Dirt:



We then caught an Uber to our Disney hotel for the night, All Star Music. If you have seen some of my other posts you will know that although this was okay, we were glad we werent staying more than one night. The carpet in the room smelt really stale and we were given a room on the ground floor despite our prior request (I know they cant always be honoured) and as a cheerleading championship was taking place, they were practising right outside our bedroom window until after midnight when we had to be up at 6am to rope drop AK for FOP!

Anyway, the OH got us a cute Mickey Mouse bottle opener from the shop at All Star Music and a couple of bottled strawberry daquiris. They were actually really nice:



We then headed off to Disney Springs (for the first time since it changed from Downtown!) and after the OHs wallet took a beating in Pandora 😳 we went to eat at DLuxe Burger. This was really good. We had one Barbecue Burger, one Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and shared a large fries. As you can see, we had a LOT of the sauces! They were very good.







This was one of our favourite meals of the holiday - excited to come back here again next year but sad that you dont get the fries included as a QSDP credit!

We then went to get a good rest ahead of a packed day coming up...

Edited at 12:21 AM.
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Unread 17 Dec 18, 12:16 AM  
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Day 8 - Animal Kingdom

We were up bright and early this day. 6am start to get to AK for 7am to rope drop FOP before the official EMH park opening at 8am. We were off FOP by 8.10 as they let us on early, so that went well! Happy to help anyone who may have questions about doing this 😊

We had a lot of food options we wanted to try here so we essentially spent the day eating our way around the park with ride stop offs every now and again!

First up was the cheeseburger pods in Pandora, along with a Night Blossom. The pods tasted like McDonalds cheeseburgers (as a lot of people have mentioned) and Im sad to find out that since our trip they have been taken off the standard menu and can now only be found on the childrens menu. The Night Blossom was lovely but very sweet so Im glad we only had one to share. We will definitely get one again as a snack credit on the QSDP next year.





The next snack was the french fries with pulled pork and cheese from Flame Tree Barbecue. We absolutely loved these and would highly recommend them as a snack credit as they are pretty big and $6.99 OOP.



I then managed to find the strawberry version of the frozen Minute Maid lemonade we had in MK earlier in the trip. The strawberry version is definitely the best out of these two, we think.



Next up was the shrimp and sweet chilli mac n cheese from Eight Spoon Cafe. Although this tasted nice, at $6.69 OOP we felt it was a little steep for how much we got. Perhaps we had bad luck or they have made the portions smaller recently though as we saw this on YouTube videos before our trip and it definitely looked like people were getting more than we did! Nevertheless, when we are on the QSDP next year we may use a snack credit for this as it did taste good.



Finally, it was dinner time before watching Rivers of Light (which we thought was really average and wouldnt waste time watching again). The OH tried out the buffalo chicken chips from Trilo-bites which he really enjoyed, whilst I went for the sweet and sour chicken from Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes. I always go for this on our trips; it is a good safe option.





Overall, we had some great food here and cant wait to spend more than just the one day eating around AK next year.

Edited at 12:18 AM.
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